WASHINGTON - Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says the future of the American economy depends on immigrants.
Bush was speaking Friday to religious conservatives. He says the U.S. will be in decline unless more immigrants here illegally get a path to legal status.
Bush is the brother of President George W. Bush. He says immigrants have created "far more" businesses than native-born Americans over the last 20 years. He also says they're, quote, "more fertile" and have more "intact families."
Bush says before they can get legal status, they should have to pay a fine, learn English and not receive welfare benefits.
Bush is thought to be weighing a presidential bid. He's among several potential candidates at the Faith and Freedom Coalition annual conference this week in Washington.